Għadni niskanta bl-imġiba ta’ xi esponent tal-Partit Nazzjonalista li fl-aħħar snin ikun ħambaq daqstant dwar id-dnubiet tal-amministrazzjoni Laburista tal-lum. Imma xorta jassoċja ruħu ma’ nies li jiġu murija xejn aħjar fl-imġiba tagħhom minn dak li hu jakkuża lil ħaddieħor bih, f’espressjoni ta’ skandlu liema bħalu.
Niskanta mhux dwar l-imprudenza tal-biċċa, daqskemm dwar l-ipokresija involuta. Min jgħix f’dar tal-ħġieġ m’għandux għalfejn jara kif se joqgħod iwaddab ġebel ’il barra minnha, aktar u aktar meta b’hekk ikun qed jattakka l-interess nazzjonali.
Ma tieħu l-ebda premju jekk tifhem li qed nirreferi għas-sur David Casa u l-assoċjazzjoni tiegħu ma’ Lara Comi.
Niftakarha l-aktar mit-taħwid li kellna snin twal ilu biex mid-diżastru li kienet fih, insibu kif tista’ tistejqer permezz tas-sid ġdid li ħadha f’idejh ħalli jiżviluppaha skont is-swieq li kellu.
Dak iż-żmien kien jisimha x-Chatillon. Twaqqfet Malta fis-snin sittin. Kienet tipproduċi drapp sintetiku. Sal-aħħar tas-snin sebgħin ma setgħetx tkampa aktar. Il-kumpanija li daħlet minflokha, Taljana wkoll minn Bergamo, immexxija mill-familja Pezzoli, kienet fl-istess linja ta’ xogħol.
Nammetti li bqajt immeraviljat meta żortha l-ġimgħa l-oħra – illum jisimha Nylon Knitting – u rajt il-progress li baqa’ jsir fiha. Il-medda tal-fabrika f’Ħal-Qormi ttriplat, biex ma ngħidx kibret b’erba’ darbiet.
Sar investiment kbir fl-impjant li għaddej il-ħin kollu biex jipproduċi drapp tan-nylon għal prodotti bħal ħrieqi li jitwaddbu u rbit taż-żippijiet.
L-użu tal-ilma u tal-enerġija huma kruċjali. Fir-rispett tar-regoli Ewropej, kull ħaġa li tista’ ssir ħalli l-produzzjoni tiġi aġevolata għandu jsir biex l-investimenti kbar li saru f’dil-fabrika jibqgħu kompetittivi.
Nisimgħu ħafna dwar il-problemi tal-kirjiet li qed jiżdiedu b’qawwa – anqas dwar il-problema tad-djar vojta. Mhux kollha huma ta’ sidien li jinsabu fi djar tax-xjuħ jew ta’ sidien b’aktar minn dar waħda.
Indunajt li hemm problemi oħra fl-aħħar ġimgħat jien u nħabbat il-bibien għall-kampanja tal-Parlament Ewropew. Pereżempju, r-Rabat, wara l-lukanda magħluqa tal-Verdala, issib toroq sħaħ fejn dar wara l-oħra jidhru sew li huma battala u ilhom hekk, għax iż-żebgħa fuq il-bibien ta’ barra u l-ġir fuq il-ħitan ilhom li bdew jitqaxxru.
Qaluli dan: hawn, il-problema hi li wara li r-residenti mietu jew telqu, ħadd ma seta’ ibigħ/jirranġa/jikri dawn il-postijiet għax inqabdu f’limbu: kienu parti mill-assi li l-Knisja għaddiet lill-gvern fil-ftehim tas-snin tmenin tas-seklu l-ieħor. Imma fuqhom għad hemm xi obbligi oħra. U allura, ma setgħux jinħarġu fis-suq.
Jekk l-ispjega li tawni hi korretta, ma nistax nifhem kif il-problema ma ġietx maħlula ilu ħafna…
English Version – Glasshouses
I am astonished by the behaviour of PN representatives who have in the past few years distinguished themselves by blustering against the alleged sins of today’s Labour administration. But meanwhile they themselves would still have associated with people whose behaviour is shown to be nothing better than the one that such representatives accuse others of, in rants that highlight the scandal of it all.
My wonder is not at the imprudence that is thereby being shown, as much as at the hypocrisy that’s involved. Those who live in glasshouses should not concentrate on throwing stones out of it, especially if when in doing so, they are also hitting out at the national interest.
You’ll get no prize if you conclude that I am referring to Mr David Casa and his close association with Ms Lara Comi.
Mostly I remember the factory which many years ago, we were trying to rescue from total shutdown. We relied on the efforts of new owners who had taken it over. They intended to develop its operations in line with the market openings they then had.
At the time, it was called Chatillon and had been established in the 1960s to produce synthetic fabrics. By the end of the 1970’s, it was sinking. The company that took it over, another Italian concern, based in Bergamo and run by the Pezzoli family, was in the same line of business.
I admit I was amazed when I visited it last week and viewed the progress that has gone on and on since then. The factory at Qormi is now called Nylon Knitting and has tripled in size, perhaps quadrupled.
A huge and continuous investment in the firm’s capital equipment was carried out to produce nylon fabric for products like disposable nappy and zip linings.
Water and energy usage are crucial. In full respect of EU rules, all available measures of support should be extended to Nylon Knitting in order to ensure that the significant investments committed to this factory remain competitive.
We hear a lot about the problems of fast rising rents – less about the problem of vacant dwellings. Not all of these belong to elderly citzens who now live in old people’s homes or to owners with more than two residences.
I realised that there exist more complex problems these past weeks during house visits organised as part of the European Parliament campaign. For instance at Rabat, back of the derelict Verdala hotel, one finds streets in which the houses look quite empty and seem to have been so for quite a time, since the paint on their front doors and the casings on the outer walls have been peeling off for a long time.
This is what I was told: the problem here is that after the residents died or left, no one could buy, renovate or hire these dwellings and they ended up in limbo. Apparently they formed part of Church assets that were turned over to the government following the agreement between the two on Church property in the 1980’s but they are still tied to other third party obligations. So though vacant, they cannot be released to the market.
If this explanation is correct, I cannot understand how the problem was not resolved a long time ago…